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IVDD - It's not all about the legs! The bladder is a priority too!

Updated: Mar 7

BLADDER CARE. No pics for this one. Its an urgent blog to raise awareness QUICKLY! Please share this blog or similar to help people going through this journey!


Largely for the Grade 5's the most severely affected.


When a dachshund goes off its legs, everyone's first thoughts go to the dogs legs, and yes obviously its an issue, but the bigger concern for the more seriously affected is whether or not they have had a wee! Bladder care is a priority and it seems to be the lesser discussed or known about topic.


Obviously, I am not a vet, and you REALLY MUST see a vet to support you on your recovery journey to help you monitor their recovery especially if this is your first IVDD experience. They can help you with more than pain management, they can monitor wellbeing, check for contact sores or ulcers, weight monitoring, more subtle discomfort. We need them!


Bladder care seems to be discussed as an afterthought in conversations around IVDD care, or perhaps not emphasised enough, or explained clearly, let me be exceptionally clear - it is a priority and its non-negotiable!


Please please please make sure they have had a wee, and do so regularly. You may need to do this yourself by "expressing" the bladder. Waiting it out, relying on overflow (some will trickle) is not enough, the bladder needs to be emptied regularly if they cannot do it themselves. You will need to do this until they start releasing themselves, this may be days or months and for some it may be a regular feature. It gets easier the more you do it. My son, was able to express when he was 8 years old, my parents at 70 years plus, everyone can do it! Initially its a faff I won't lie, but you'll get it. Be patient. But please please do it!


When you take your warrior to the vets, please ask them to check the bladder and show you how to do it. There are some medications that can make it easier to do for the more challenging ones, and initially it can be quite challenging to 'get the knack.' But please keep trying.


Not doing this if they are not emptying fully themselves can lead to:


  • Overdistension of the bladder (aside from other things this can impact future continence)

  • Urine infections

  • Bladder stones.

  • Obstructions in urethra

  • Kidney damage

  • Bladder damage

It will impact their recovery and could have pretty devastating consequences, it is a priority!


When?

You should aim to express every 4 hours during the day. I tend to do first and last thing at night and several times in between.

Try to encourage fluids (discuss how much with your vets) to help you locate the bladder and to keep things healthy.


Its important to make sure they have a poo too but this generally works its way out in its own time. If not, PLEASE go to your vet and tell them. Blockages are also a problem! Keep a toilet diary so you can recall exactly when they went.


In terms of pee - I'd make a note of the smell and colour too. IVDD warriors are prone to infections.


How?

  • Start on a pad first so you can see whether you've got it.

  • You may notice a flick or twitch of the tail.

  • They may object as its uncomfortable initially and new to them and you.


This link by Marianne Dorn - The Rehab Vet shows you a video of how to express: IVDD bladder expression – The Rehab Vet


Boys and girls differ - the boys can be messy until you learn to aim them! I've had it fly across the room, fill my slippers and then mastered the targeting eventually. You'll get it. There are lots of videos online too, but I'd really recommend getting your vet to help you and monitor whilst you get the hang of it.


Get this book, the IVDD Handbook. Should be called the IVDD Bible, everything you need to know is in it! Included in it is how to express alongside physiotherapy tips and guidance on each approach you take,The IVDD Handbook: Helping your dog through back and neck problems: Amazon.co.uk: Dorn, Dr Marianne: 9798351305097: Books


Your treatment options in brief - for more information please visit www.dachshund-ivdd.uk.


  • Surgery - IVDD cannot be diagnosed by X Ray. They will need to be seen by a specialist. For those considering surgery you will need a MRI or CT scan. The prices vary for this but are generally around £3k. Surgery seems to be around £4-8k. Try to remember they are unlikely to 'walk' out of surgery and will still need to be on rest.




But ALL the approaches need to ensure their bladders are carefully looked after.


The wonderful charity Dedicated To Dachshunds are unique to our wonderful community, and will provide you with the necessary equipment. They've all experienced the journey you are on, and work closely with professionals to ensure they are providing the best to support you: Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD – Equipment loan for dachshunds with IVDD


My top priorities with IVDD

  1. Bladder care

  2. Pain management

  3. Rest

  4. Skin care

  5. Calm mental stimulation when they need it.


IVDD sucks, but you can get through it! Dachshund Health UK are trying their best to raise awareness and support research, but as a community we have a loud voice so share the up to date knowledge. There has never been so much research and so many options available to us.


Finally, a copy and paste from the awesome Dachshund IVDD UK Facebook page (run by Dachshund Health UK and Dedicated to Dachshunds) with a billion helpful links:



THE IVDD HANDBOOK

The IVDD Handbook: Helping your dog through back and neck problems https://amzn.eu/d/56uBRHf

SUPPORT & ADVICE group for owners


For owners in USA


For owners in Australia


EQUIPMENT LOAN

D2d with ivdd loan equipment to recovering and disabled dachshunds

This link will explain how the loans works and what equipment D2D can provide .

Please contact us here to discuss equipment


 REFERRALS


Ivdd diagnosis


 Clinical diagnosis and grading scale


 Questions to ask your vet


Decision making


Non surgical treatment


A trial for those who can't afford surgery, paralysed within last 2 days and dogs weight under 15kg...


Myelomalacia


SLING WALKING

SLING WALKING - IMPORTANT - ALWAYS USE A HARNESS AND LEAD AT ALL TIMES DURING RECOVERY FOR CONTROL.... With and without the support sling .


WALKING - IMPORTANT- AVOID CONCRETE IF PAWS ARE DRAGGING ttps://therehabvet.com/2017/05/walking-with-your-recovering-dog/


HARNESS


HOMECARE AND NURSING - POST DIAGNOSIS SURGERY / CONSERVATIVE CARE

Choosing a recovery crate or pen

Pen set up - ONLY USE 4 PANELS FOR FIRST FEW WKS ...(Please see pic )

 Home care

Crate rest

Daily routine

Home care

Staying positive

Calm and content


Toilet Breaks

Bladder expression

Sacral nerve implant procedure


PHYSIOTHERAPY TECHNIQUES & MASSAGE

RECOVERY EXCERSISE- BELLA GRADE 5 (LICKIMATT)

 PHYSIOTHERAPY TECHNIQUES - MARNIE

 MARNIE PART 2

MARNIE PART 3


Cambridge trial....

MASSAGE - CAMBRIDGE IVDD RESEARCH GROUP

PROM - PASSIVE RANGE OF MOTION - CAMBRIDGE IVDD RESEARCH GROUP


CRATE REST IS DONE, WHAT NOW? ...take your time ....



A few top tips for ivdd dogs from Marianne Dorn https://therehabvet.com/2020/09/about-marianne-dorn/

  • Avoid slick flooring for any exercises or walking attempts.

  • Don't expect too much too soon. Practice makes perfect.

  • Reward often: A kind word always goes down well, as does a little titbit of food.

  • Take breaks often. IVDD dogs fatigue really quickly.

  • Use a harness and lead to slow your dog down.

  • It's best to learn to stand before you try to walk.

It's best to learn to walk before you try to trot or run.


Marriane holds online rehabilitation consultations: https://therehabvet.com/2020/08/video-consultations/

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